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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Downregulation of aquaporins 1 and 5 in nasal gland by osmotic stress in ducklings, Anas platyrhynchos: implications for the production of hypertonic fluid.

Using primers against highly conserved regions of mammalian and bird aquaporins in RT-PCR experiments, we amplified products derived from duck (Anas platyrhynchos) nasal gland RNA that were identified as homologues of mammalian and chicken aquaporin 1 and aquaporin 5 cDNAs by sequencing. Using digoxigenin-labelled probes derived from these PCR products in northern blot analyses of mRNA isolated from nasal glands of untreated (na??ve) or osmotically stressed ducklings (replacement of drinking water with a 1% NaCl solution), we observed a decrease in aquaporin 1 ( AQP1) and aquaporin 5 (AQP5) mRNA abundance (by approximately 40%) during saline adaptation in the animals. Western blot analysis of AQP1 and AQP5 expression in the glands revealed that protein abundance decreased in a similar fashion. Immunohistochemical analysis of AQP1 distribution in cryosections of nasal gland indicated that AQP1 is mainly expressed in endothelial cells of the capillaries, but definitely not in the secretory or ductal cells of the gland. AQP5 distribution in the gland, however, seems to be different, since staining was exclusively observed in apical and basolateral plasma membranes of individual epithelial cells of the primary and central ducts, which collect fluid from the secretory tubules. The observations are consistent with the hypothesis that strongly hyperosmotic fluid is produced by the secretory cells at very low (unstimulated gland) or high (activated gland) rates. In the unstimulated gland, secretions may be diluted by aquaporin-mediated transcellular water flux while passing through the ductal system flushing the glandular ducts, thereby potentially preventing ascending infections. In the activated gland, however, downregulation of aquaporins in capillaries and duct cells may prevent dilution of the initially secreted fluid, enabling the animals to excrete large volumes of a highly concentrated salt solution.[1]


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